Soil mechanics and foundation engineering – An exclusive book for civil engineers

Dr. K. R. Arora, having 25 years of teaching experience, has written an exclusive book alias soil mechanics and foundation engineering. The book is available in PDF version.

The book is specifically designed for the undergraduate students as well as the students appearing for different competitive examinations and AMIE. A huge numbers of charts and tables are provided to make the text informative for practicing engineers.

Soil mechanics and foundation engineering (geotechnical engineering) is a part and parcel of civil engineering that witnesses a significant growth. The book is enriched with the most updated information in the field. The author has accumulated the material from different sources and demonstrated them in the form of a text.

The text is segregated into two parts. The first part sheds light on the basics of soil mechanics. The second part focuses on earth retaining structures and foundation engineering. The subject matter is explained in a rational and organized way.

The book comprises of the syllabi of undergraduate courses in soil mechanics and foundation engineering prescribed by most of Indian Universities and Institutes.

With the use of simple and coherent language, the author tries to narrate the basics for the students. Basic concepts have been emphasized throughout. The special emphasis is given on the complexities faced by the students. The book is supported with the extensive range of descriptive examples to present the application of the theory to field issues. Numerical problems, with answers, are provided for practice.

Some objective type questions are provided at the end of the each chapter.

The text is plentifully exemplified with diagrams and charts. Latest IS codes are abided by, as far as possible. References are provided at the end of each chapter. Both MKS and SI units are applied in this book.

Click on the following link to download the book Soil mechanics and foundation engineering


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Arka Roy


Brief overview of rise and fall table in land surveying

This construction video tutorial is very useful for land surveyor. The tutorial sheds light on the rise and fall table in land surveying. Get some useful tricks to resolve the rise and fall table.

Rise and fall method is applied to resolve the levelling to detect the variation in elevation and elevation of points..

By resolving this table, it is possible to work out the reduced level of each point captured at staff rod with leveling machine. In order to work out the reduced level of an individual point, it is necessary to compute the rise and fall of points. After that, for reduced level, the following formula is applied :-

new R.L = old R.L – Fall
new R.L = old R.L + Rise

The table contains various heads like number, B.S (back sight), I.S (inter sight), F.S (fore sight), Rise, Fall, R.L (reduced level) and remarks.

B.S – Back sight (BS) is the abbreviation for “back sight reading”. It means the first staff reading captured by the surveyor as soon as the levelling instrument is arranged and levelled. B.S is normally captured on the point of known reduced level as on the benchmark or a change point. The normally applied datum is mean sea level.

Fore sight (FS) is the abbreviation for “fore sight reading”. It means the last staff reading captured prior to modify the instrument to the other position. It refers to the staff reading captured on point whose RL is to be ascertained. This sight is treated as negative and assumed from Height of Instrument to find out RL of the point.

Reduced Level (RL) in surveying stands for equating elevations of survey points relating to a common assumed datum. It refers to a vertical distance among survey point and selected datum plane. Therefore, it is taken as the base elevation that is applied as reference to consider heights or depths of other important places.

To get more detailed information, watch the following video tutorial.

Brief overview of rise and fall table in land surveying

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Duties of a Construction Manager

Construction sites are risky and full of responsibilities and as a construction manager, it is his responsibility to set and keep right schedules, auditing finances and keeping eye on everyone about their work and needs. The manager has to make sure about the workers that the workplace is free of safety hazards and work with different working relationships in a job site.

And for securing it properly, the managers need to overlook and lead a range of building projects from start to end. Construction works on the design between the smaller renovation and remodeling jobs for larger commercial projects such as office buildings, hospitals and schools.

In America it is seen that nearly 75% of the construction managers are free contractors and hired by various clients in need of managers with definite work experience. The number of that kind of clients are increasing and demanding an educational background for their managers included a bachelor’s degree in the related field.

Difference between Construction Manager and General Contractor: Though both the terms are generally used interchangeably, they have specific differences. Generally the construction managers are associated in a given project from start to end, help their clients with basic planning with the selection of the project’s general contractor and architect. Construction managers sometimes serve in a separate capacity as the general contractor. In other hand a general contractor is responsible to provide all kinds of material, labor, engineering vehicles and tools and services which are crucial for the construction of the project. They hire professional subcontractors for doing all or parts of the construction work.

Responsibilities of a Construction Manager: A construction manager has to perform certain tasks or responsibilities like:

Quality management: Sometimes some contractors and subcontractors need to involve in construction projects. Most importantly a construction manager has to ensure the quality work of everyone without cutting any corners.

Quality management: It is important to keep an estimate of the cost and a good construction manager will always works on the costs and makes the needful adjustments if any unexpected complications or issues become arise.

Safety management: It is important to keep the capability for identifying and eliminating possible safety hazards in th4e job site for everyone’s good.

Contract administration: A good contractor need to take care that every arrangement as per the contract should be met and the involved parties are also happy.

Besides all of these things, a construction manager has to keep involved all the parties and well informed during the whole project. It will include the client, the architect and contractor or sub contractor also and in case of any rising issue the manager has to take his position to deal with the things instantly.

Becoming a Construction Manager: A construction manager has to be involved in more things, than only reading blueprints or spot-checking the quality of the work that has done. A good manager must have knowledge about all kind of standard building codes and understand the importance of green culture. The managers have to be adept with the industry-specific software with a good working knowledge of all kinds of the job. As work experience is not enough, the managers should have a bachelor’s degree in construction science, civil engineering or construction management.

They also should keep knowledge over statistics, mathematics, and architecture and information technology with specialized training in designing and planning, enforcement of building codes, scheduling and cost estimation. They possess awesome communication skills with a leading capability of a diverse team where will be different people like from site workers to the client to the designers, architects and tradesman. As the construction site is a hazard place the managers need to have the ability to do multitask works.

For more information please visit

Duties of a Construction Manager

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AStrutTie – A powerful software for structural analysis and design

HanGil IT is the developer of AStrutTie, a powerful software for creating perfect structural design. It is primarily applied to make analysis and design a strut-tie model for concrete members which contain disturbed stress region(s).

It facilitates the users to create the design of corbel (bracket), abutment/pier footing, bridge pier coping (pier cap), frame corner, anchorage zone, deep beam, etc. The software is compatible with U.S (ACI 318, AASHTO LRFD) and Europe (EuroCode 2) codes and specifications.

A concrete member is categorized as B-region(s) and D-region(s). D-regions belong to parts of structure in which the strain distribution is extremely nonlinear. The design practices for D-regions are generally dependent on empirical approaches. The strut-tie model approach produces a superior concept concerning load transfer mechanisms as well as structural behavior and it empowers the designer to deal with unconventional situations including D-regions.

AStrutTie is a handy software for making analysis/design of concrete members having D-region(s). The most perfect strut-tie models are developed based on the principal stress flows and/or evolutionary structural optimization (ESO) results.

AStrutTie comprises of a specialized solver that can efficiently manage any sorts of internally/externally (in) determinate strut-tie models. The strut-tie model provisions of ACI 318-14 (2014), AASHTO LRFD (2014), and EC2 (2004) are employed.

In order to make quick and efficient strut-tie model designs, multirole templates are arranged for corbel (bracket), abutment footing, pier footing, bridge pier coping (pier cap), frame corner, anchorage zones with inclined and straight tendons, and deep beams with concentrated and distributed loads.

The shapes of concrete members and truss models are also formed by importing .dxf files. Advanced element sets illustrating truss mechanism, truss and arch mechanism, and fan action are arranged.

AStrutTie offers different automated design checks reclassifying the conditions for rebar necessity and strength validation of struts and nodal zones. Visual validations of strength conditions can also be done.

A structural design report is automatically created, and design results are evaluated by forecasting the report. The structural design report is printed as a .rtf or .xlsx file.

Click on the following link to download the software


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How to find out the required amount of concrete for construction work

To find out the exact quantities of concrete for a construction project is very crucial. Given below, some useful tips for computing the quantities of concrete mix for any construction project.

How to work out the amount of concrete necessary for Slabs(along with odd shapes)

Rule of thumb: Include 1/4″ to the density of your slab for your slab concrete budget. It supposes that the job is uniformly graded to the exact depth, and the grade is properly compacted.

While examining your grade, if it is found that one spot is 4″ and other spots are 4.5″ to 5″ then it is recommended ion to settle the grade for both the job quality and your concrete budget.

Odd shapes: Convert odd shapes into rectangles and odd shapes can be located easily.

Build driveway 14′ x 20′ and your estimate will be perfect. It will be done in this way – The driveway is 16′ at the top and 12′ at the bottom. Throughout the center the width averages 14′.

Working out the Amount of Concrete Essential For Footings

Footings will seldom pursue the drawing accurately. In the soil where there are lots of gravels, the footings may fall down if big rocks are excavated.

It is assumed as a 12″*12″ footing, but check how the left side of the footing has fallen down. Compute the exact width.

The digging is too deep by the excavator, or there may be raining and the digging for footings should be deeper to get to solid soil. Therefore, it is vatal to examine different types of spots on your footing and obtain an average size. Then with the help of a calculator, works out the required amount of concrete.

House slabs on grade that are 8″ out of grade containing a 4″ slab also arranged some of the footing over the grade too.

This 12″ x 12″ footing should be computed as 12″ x 16″ so the footing is built to go over grade to attain the 4″ slab thickness.

To make calculation online, click on the following link

How to find out the required amount of concrete for construction work

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5 Methods of Calculating Quantities of Materials

There are many methods used for calculating quantities of materials. Which one goes with your plan depends on the design and shape of the building. Each method is characteristically different from other.

Calculation of quantities of material needs a proper technical understanding of materials and construction. The five major methods are described here for you and they come up with the right measurement of materials you need.

  1. Centre Line Method: Centre line method is applicable to the square building with symmetrical offsets. To calculate the quantities of materials, you need to multiply the total centre line length with breadth and depth of the construction.

The centre line length will be reduced by half of breadth of every junction where the main wall is joined with the cross walls, partitions or verandah. The junctions must be taken into consideration while calculating the centre line length of a wall. The quantity estimation brought out by this method is accurate and fast.

  1. Crossing method: Crossing method is designed for calculating materials needed for masonry walls. In this method, the lengths and breadths of walls at plinth level (the base on which a column is raised) are included. The internal dimension of the room and the thickness of the walls are also important to calculate the quantities. Symmetrical offsets should be counted as they play a major role in the calculation of quantity of materials.
  1. Out to out and in to in method: This method follows P.W.D system for computing materials and this seems to be the most accurate method among all.
  1. Bay method: This bay method is applicable in garages, factory, and railway platform where identical structures are visible. Bay in a construction term means a compartment of a building. The cost of one room is calculated first and it is multiplied by the number of bays.
  1. Service unit method: The term service unit method is designed for building with identical rooms. This method is applicable in the construction of college, hospital, cinemas, prison, and more. When it is a construction of a hospital, the service unit will be a bed. Likewise, for cinema/stadium, it is seats.

Calculating quantities of materials follow the above-mentioned methods. Each of which shows a different perspective of calculation and they are also concentrated on different construction types.

5 Methods of Calculating Quantities of Materials

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How to choose pile foundation on the basis of cost versus other foundations for construction project

Get detailed information on how to choose the pile foundations on the basis of cost vs. other foundations for construction projects and factors which impact the cost of pile foundation.

Sometimes, it becomes difficult for structural designer to take stable decision to select types of foundations like pile foundation or ordinary strip or mat foundation to be used for the structure.

The problem becomes acute while going to choose among pile foundation and traditional mat or strip foundation developed in a deeper level to fit a soil layer having desirable bearing strength.

There should be an indicator for all construction conditions under which the use of pile foundation is considered as inexpensive with reference to traditional strip and mat foundations.

This article will focus on the variations through which the decision for choosing of pile foundation over other foundation types can be taken without difficulty. This condition line is formed on the reasonably detailed cost appraisal of the foundation. The foundation cost is impacted by the following factors :-

Factors impacting the cost of Pile Foundation

Evidently, final decision for employing the type of foundation, cannot be taken on the basis of the calculation of excavation volume and concrete quantity of deep mat or strip foundation with regard to cost of piles that support the same load.

A cap is needed for Pile foundation. The density of the cap should be approx 45cm for two piles and 60cm to 120cm for two pair of piles. Plan dimensions of piling cap should be up to 2100mm2 for pile having diameter of 550mm.

With tie beams provided over one direction, the Pile caps are joined together using tie beams in more than one direction.

It is found that, the excavation cost of pile cap along with capping beams and tie beams is two times the cost of machine excavation in moderately large column bases. With the advancement of construction, the perfect structural design as well as stringent supervision is required for pile foundation.

To get more details, click on the following link

How to choose pile foundation on the basis of cost versus other foundations for construction project

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Arka Roy

The role of a quantity surveyor in construction sector

Liabilities of a Quantity Surveyor: A Quantity Surveyor (QS) is a professional who mainly deals with construction costs and contracts associated with the Construction Industry. The role of a quantity surveyor is to recognize and compile the related costs with the purpose of creating a complete budget for any project.

A quantity surveyor can then accept cost planning to facilitate all the members of the design team to find out the practical solutions and maintain the budget of the project.

The Quantity Surveyors along with the project architect produce this final detailed estimate to make a basis on which consequent tenders are examined. With schedules of quantities, it becomes easier to translate the drawing, plans and specifications submitted by the design team to facilitate the each contractor to work out the tender prices reasonably. Once tenders are approved, the Quantity Surveyor arranges cash flow data for the client to outline his resources sufficiently to fulfill contract commitments. Alternatively, the Quantity Surveyor has to settle on how much of a job should have been paid for at any one time.

Duties of Professional Quantity Surveyor – A Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) should accomplish the following works:

Produce and assess construction and development tenders out of information submitted by the architects, engineers and other design consultants as well as settle and reward contracts to successful proponents..

Handle, supervise and organize all types of construction and development projects, along with the contracts and sub-contracts, construction progress schedules, cost control systems, and work measurements.

Arrange, submit and control progress invoices, valuation of changes and settle contracts. Give suggestion on construction cost and strategic planning to potential owners, architects, engineers and public authorities.

Arrange and interpret tender documents, specifications, general conditions, and other parts and forms of contracts.

Create and deliver estimates for construction and development work.

Give suggestion commercially and support to construction and development project works.

Perform or take part in arbitration and court hearings. Research, negotiate and support dispute resolution operations. Function of a Construction Estimator Certified professional.

A Professional Quantity Surveyor contains a thorough knowledge of construction and construction methods together with the laws regarding construction projects and accounting, with the intention of providing cost and financial advice.

A Professional Quantity Surveyor should have specialty in mechanical or electrical disciplines, but all Professional Quantity Surveyors should possess working knowledge of the practical facets and design features of both fields.


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Benefits of Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC) in Concrete Construction

The objective of engineered cementitious composites is to develop a robust and flexible material that can be utilized in various purpose where fiber reinforced concrete can’t be used. It is the newest concept.

The formation of cementitious materials with high ductility is useful for structural applications. The engineered cementitious composites contain properties of high strength concrete having improved tensile strain capacity.

Definition of Engineered Cementitious Composite

The components of engineered cementitious composite are identical to fiber reinforced concrete along with cement, sand, water, fiber, and a few chemical additives. Contrasting to the fiber reinforced concrete, the engineered cementitious composites do not contain huge volume of fiber.

The method for blending engineered cementitious composites is equivalent to that utilized for the normal concrete. The engineered cementitious composites are cost-effective as less fiber is applied and they retain the desired characteristics of strength and ductility.

The main variance in the properties of engineered cementitious composite and fiber reinforced concrete is that as soon as the engineered cementitious composite is cracked strain is solidified whereas the fiber reinforced concrete does not demonstrate such a behavior.

In fiber reinforced concrete, the crack forms with the crack of the fibers because of that the bearing strength of the stress is reduced. Besides, the engineered cementitious composites contain a high fracture toughness that has similarity with aluminium alloys, and the damage tolerance is tremendously high.

Usage Of Engineered Cementitious Composite

Engineered cementitious composites are utilized in shear elements which are dependent on a cyclic loading, in the mechanical components of the beam and column coalition, and for general structural repairs.

These composites are generally applied in structures which contain a high energy absorption, along with dampers, steel element joints and for hybrid steel connections.

Beside, structural applications, these compounds can be utilized as a shielding layer for enhancing the corrosive resistance of structures. Other probable targets of engineered cementitious composites contain underground structures, highway pavements, and bridge decks.

To learn more click on the following link


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Curtain Wall Design Tips For Water Penetration & Condensation

Designing curtain walls to water penetration brings huge benefits for maintaining the security, thermal performance and comfort of the structure and residents.

The rain caused by wind and condensation create huge issue and it becomes complicated to handle when curtain wall is designed together with gravity, kinetic energy, capillary action and surface tension and the chances are enhanced for water ingression.

Get the detailed information on the design of curtain wall against the infiltration of water and condensation.

Design of Curtain wall for Water Infiltration and Condensation

  • Wind driven rain and the possibility of water ingression
    • Design of curtain wall to control water penetration
    • Design of curtain walls to control condensation

Wind driven rain and possibility of water ingression

There are five different types of forces such as that contribute either partially or as a whole to the ingression of water may occur due to existence of five various types of forces like gravity, kinetic energy, capillary action, surface tension and air pressure difference.

The curtain wall is capable of resisting forces that enhances the chance of water penetration. It is dependent on glazing details, drainage details, frame construction, weather stripping and frame gaskets, perimeter flashings and sealings and interior sealants.

Wind loads create differentials pressure that may cause windblown rain. It exceeds gravity force and as a result forces water to stir ascending.

Surface tension properties and capillary effect of curtain wall elements are significantly impacted with thermal expansion of various building materials.

As for example, expansion or contraction of materials because of temperatures may tight expansion joints extremely and ultimately raise capillary action among different components of the curtain wall.

The surface tension properties of curtain wall may fluctuate because of contraction and expansion and bring about unwanted results. So, it is necessary to design movable joints, seals and gaskets to accommodate differential movements among various members.

To learn how to make design of curtain walls to manage water penetration, click on the following link


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Arka Roy